Weekend Talking Points: Patriots and Rams seal Super Bowl spots
Huge wins for Liverpool and Arsenal too
It was another absorbing weekend of sport, with huge games in the NFL, football across the continent and the Australian Open.
Our round-up of the biggest talking points starts Stateside, where Super Bowl spots were up for grabs…
Patriots make it to the Super Bowl… again
New England Patriots became only the third team in history to make it to three consecutive Super Bowls after beating Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. They survived a Chiefs onslaught in overtime, with Tom Brady yet again delivering when it really counts.
Over in the NFC, a controversial call may have denied New Orleans Saints a shot at the Super Bowl in their loss to Los Angeles Rams. The Saints were denied a seemingly clear pass interference late in the fourth quarter and never quite recovered.
Liverpool cling onto their lead
Liverpool made hard work of it, but they managed to maintain their lead at the top of the table with a dramatic 4-3 win over Crystal Palace.
They’ve not been at their best in recent weeks, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are still getting results. Will they be able to fight on two fronts when the Champions League returns?
Arsenal pull themselves back into top-four race
Arsenal put in a superb display to beat Chelsea 2-0 at home. It was a must-win derby for the Gunners, who would have been nine points off the top four if they’d lost.
Now they’re just three points behind the Blues, as are Manchester United. Tottenham Hotspur could also have been dragged into a scrap for fourth-spot if it weren’t for Harry Winks’ last-gasp winner at Fulham.
As it is, Spurs are 1/6 to nail down a Champions League spot. Chelsea are still odds-on at 2/5, with United and Arsenal at 6/4 and 3/1 respectively.
Federer crashes out of the Australian Open
Roger Federer’s defence of the Australian Open ended early after defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It’s only the second time in his career that the Swiss star has failed to make the last eight in Melbourne.
Tsitsipas saved all 12 of Federer’s break points to secure the biggest win of his career to date. The Greek is 4/5 to beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals tomorrow.
Federer’s loss means he’s set to drop outside the top five in the ATP Rankings for the first time in over two years.
Is this Dortmund’s year?
The Bundesliga returned from its winter break last weekend, with Borussia Dortmund facing a tricky tie away to RB Leipzig.
The league leaders hadn’t won either of their previous two trips to the Red Bull Arena. But a first-half Axel Witsel goal was enough to get the job done this time. The victory means Lucien Favre’s side remain six points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing